In light of September being National Recovery Month, "Join The Voices For Recovery" in bringing awareness on addiction and mental health.Recent data demonstrates that among people 12 years and older, more than 21 million people had some form of substance abuse. Substance Abuse is a growing problem within the United States and specifically in our area. The good news is there are programs available to help such as, Bradford Health Services, Cornerstone for Recovery, Helen Ross McNabb, Blount Memorial, and Victory Treatment Program.
Understanding addiction is difficult, it affects more than just the person who is addicted. Family and friends are often left wondering where they went wrong in helping their loved one who is an addict. Supportive programs are available for families who are struggling with addiction. The previously mentioned organizations offer or have resources to guide families in the right direction to receive help.
Mental health and addiction services have developed greatly over the past fifty to seventy years. We are understanding the composition of the brain and the neuroscience behind addiction. This allows for improved treatment methods as well as medications. In a recent conversation with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, we discussed how Knoxville and the greater appalachian area have made great improvements in mental health and addiction treatment. Dr. Murthy is focusing on prioritizing prevention and emotional well-being in his new campaign that has gained great momentum and is entitled "Turn The Tide". It was a wonderful experience meeting the Surgeon General and listening to his plans to improve treatment access and focus on prevention.
Fact is, there are treatment options in our area for those with addiction and mental health issues. Majority of the treatment facilities accept insurance plans or offer a discounted cash pay option. Knowing where to receive treatment is only a portion of the equation. Reaching out for help is the toughest step to take. Family can't push or make an addict get treatment if the end goal is long term sobriety or recovery. The individual has to want to receive treatment and be an active participant in their recovery. Things family can do: have information on treatment centers available, don't enable, go to support groups, and spiritualism.
Mental Health disorders and addiction are difficult to understand, but there is help available for both the family and individual.